Let’s talk about youth homelessness

What is youth homelessness?

Homelessness is the lack of stability, sense of security, privacy, safety, and the ability to control living space. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality for 105,237 people, that is 1 in 200 Australians. 42% of homeless Australians are aged between 12 to 24 years old. Yet, it is estimated that this percentage is higher as young homeless people stay temporarily at a family or friend’s home before moving onto the next person to live with or ‘couch surf’ (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).

Slavation Army’s “winter oasis” campaign for homelessness https://salvos.org.au/more/whats-new/2009/05/25/for-we-are-young-and-homeless/

In most cases, these ‘runaways’ or ‘street kids’ have come from severe situations where they have experienced abuse, domestic violence, housing crisis or family/relationship breakdowns at home. According to Homeless Australia (2012) 56% of homeless people are male while 44% are female, there are supported accommodation, boarding houses and other faculities available for homeless people to sleep. However, theses places are only temporarily and when their full some have to do it tough and sleep in over-crowed dwellings, tents, caravan parks or ‘rough sleep’ on the streets.

This is especially dangerous for young homeless people as they are vulnerable to sexual assault and more likely to get involved into drugs, alcohol and criminal activity. Without help homeless teenagers it is unlikey they will live beyond the age of 2.

A tweet made by @peachyvogue for the hashtag ‘Poverty is…’
Part of Raising the Roof 2011 “Campaign for Potential” http://homeforhope.ca/2012/08/29/seeing-youth-homelessness/

It is difficult for young people to get out of homelessness, as they do not have enough income, access to financial resources, opportunities for higher education or employment . Thus, it is more likely for young homeless people to continue to be in this cycle in their adulthood.

National Alliance to end youth homelessness http://t3threads.com/naeh-the-year-in-review-youth-homelessness/


Australian Brureau Statics.(2012). Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2011 (Publication No. 2049.0). Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/2049.0Main%20Features302011?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=2049.0&issue=2011&num=&view=

Homelessness Australia.(2012). Homelessness Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/homeless-statistics

Social Change — Short film treatment for ‘Young and on the streets’

As part of my social change project I have created a treatment for the short film ‘Young and on the streets’. There are countless of videos and films about homelessness but what I want to achieve from this film is to get rid of the common assumptions and excuses people have about being homeless. The film is to showcase the experiences of young homeless people and to show what many organisations and volunteers including myself are doing to help them. I also want ask you, a member of society and humanity to also help in any means. This can be in a form of donation, giving away unwanted items, volunteering time or simply spread the word through social media.

Let’s start a conversation!

Short film treatment — Young and on the streets (working title)

Duration: 3–5 minutes

To be filmed in: Bankstown, Sydney CBD

A brief outline: The film will feature a series of young homeless people and their day-to-day struggles before and after becoming homeless. Then it will show interviews and various shots of what the ‘Leaders in Youth’ of Bankstown are doing in their local community including the Sleepout event and how the audience can help with the event and the issue in general.

1. Key Scenes: The key scenes in the film will include-

a) Boy 1 sitting by footpath

b) Montage of young people in public during the day

c) Another montage of the scenes showing people’s thought of homeless people

d) Series of before and after homelessness scenes — i) ‘Home’ ii) School iii) Getting a job iv) Rough sleeping v) being followed vi) Couch surfing

e) What ‘Leaders in Youth’ are doing — The Sleepout event

f) ‘What you can do?’ message

2. Structure:

Act 1 — The Beginning

a) Boy 1 sitting by the footpath fade into b) Montage of young people in public during the day (Each shot lasting 3 to 6 sec)
c) Another montage of the b) shots focuing of the surround people, voice-overs of their opinions about the young homeless people in the shot

Act 2 — The middle

d) A Series of before and after homelessness scenes — i)‘Home’ ii) School iii) Getting a job iv) Rough sleeping v) being followed vi) Couch surfing

Act 3 — The end

e) What ‘Leaders in Youth’ are doing. Cuts between meetings, planning and the interviews from the member about the Sleepout event
f) ‘What you can do?’ message. Voice-overs of the Leaders in Youth team about what resources, donations and actions people can do. Cuts to scene d) of the young homeless getting a job, accommodation, learning job skills, food etc. Final scene goes back to Boy 1 getting helped up a Leaders in Youth member and entering the youth center.

3. Characters: In order of appearance

The young homeless people -Boy 1, Girl 1, Boy 2, Boy 3, Girl 2, Girl 3 and Boy 4

Extras as the surrounding crowd

The Leaders in Youth team

How can YOU help?

The homeless read mean tweets — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BXxxfc4aYc

With only 0.5% of Australians experience homelessness, why should we care?

  • We should care because that could be anyone one of us in their shoes, wouldn’t you want help?
  • We should care because homelessness affects everyone and it is our social responsibility.
  • We should care because we are all human and everyone deserves a chance.

What the homeless want you to know — //www.youtube.com/watch?v=367Xv8X4ivs

These statics can be changed by starting with the youth, decreasing the amount of young people on the streets will result in the decrease homelessness in the future by 50%. In this year’s Homeless Person’s Week on the 3–9 August, Bankstown Outreach will be hosting Bankstown’s first Sleepout event as part of the Youth Off the Streets’ Youth Homelessness Campaign. The Leaders in Youth team are inviting young people aged 14 -24 to spend one night at Paul Keating Park, Bankstown to experience what it is like to be homeless.

The youth sleepout will be on the night of 7 August from 5pm to 10am next morning. Everyone is welcome to attend the night event; there will be food, performances, guest speakers, games and a movie screening.

The Bankstown sleepout is to raise awareness for youth homelessness and bring about community responsibility for our young people. By starting in our local area we hope to share this movement onto other suburbs, cities and possibly around the world to bring an end to homelessness.

A Facebook post from a Leaders in Youth member about the Sleepout event

If you like to help, please follow the link below and donate. All donations will go straight into funding the event, the Leaders in Youth program and charities that support young people who are experiencing homelessness.


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